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Garno

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I have a cheap as chips belt sander 100 x 914 that I tried out in earnest the other day and have to say the results were very impressive.

I was using the sanding belt that came with the machine that was 80 grit. I have been looking at replacement belts costing roughly a quid each on fleabay, again these have been 80 grit. Would there be a noticeable difference if I purchased difference size grits (not in the price but the finish :D ) The finish the 80 grit gave really surprised me (smoother than Mrs G's posterior when I first met her).
 

AJB Temple

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Depends on the wood and your expectations. 80 grit will shift material quite fast and leave fairly deep grooves. I have a selection of belts and similarly a selection of abranet. If you want a fine finish for paint of polish, 80 isn't it.
 

doctor Bob

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Garno":2f107nus said:
The finish the 80 grit gave really surprised me (smoother than Mrs G's posterior when I first met her).
Once they been well used they can become a bit rough and hairy .................................. :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

Doug71

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I rarely go above 120 grit with my belt sander.

Didn't realise you could get Abranet belts, bit pricey, are they worth it?
 

Trainee neophyte

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Garno":lrqawee6 said:
I have a cheap as chips belt sander 100 x 914 that I tried out in earnest the other day and have to say the results were very impressive.

I was using the sanding belt that came with the machine that was 80 grit. I have been looking at replacement belts costing roughly a quid each on fleabay, again these have been 80 grit. Would there be a noticeable difference if I purchased difference size grits (not in the price but the finish :D ) The finish the 80 grit gave really surprised me (smoother than Mrs G's posterior when I first met her).
I can do a huge amount of damage with my belt sander, almost imediately. Takes lots off, very, very quickly. Try 40 grit - great for sanding cement plant pots.
 

Garno

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doctor Bob":i73qncdi said:
Garno":i73qncdi said:
The finish the 80 grit gave really surprised me (smoother than Mrs G's posterior when I first met her).
Once they been well used they can become a bit rough and hairy .................................. :shock: :shock: :shock:
Don't I know it, did I ever tell you about the ………… :oops: :oops: :oops:
 

Garno

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AJB Temple":2yp32usy said:
Depends on the wood and your expectations. 80 grit will shift material quite fast and leave fairly deep grooves. I have a selection of belts and similarly a selection of abranet. If you want a fine finish for paint of polish, 80 isn't it.
Thank you,

Looks like I need to get other grits by the look of things.
 

AJB Temple

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The Abranet is for the Mirka. Not for the belt sanders. I mainly use belt sanders for shifting a lot of material on oak framing etc. But can be super useful for doing large flat surfaces.
 

MikeG.

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Trainee neophyte":2d20jww2 said:
...... Try 40 grit - great for sanding cement plant pots.
...and for green oak.

To Garno:

If you are new to belt sanders and are just doing workshop work, I suggest having a pack of 80, 100, and 120 grit belts. If you are working with green oak, building a boat, doing fibreglassing, renovating an old building, or sanding concrete plant pots, then add 40 and 60 grit packs to your collection.

When using it, get good at not leaving edge patterns, by moving the machine constantly but not randomly. Also, get strong, as half an hour with a belt sander can be tough going (wait until you try using it overhead!). And wear ear defenders.
 

Garno

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MikeG.":g75ojqan said:
Trainee neophyte":g75ojqan said:
...... Try 40 grit - great for sanding cement plant pots.
...and for green oak.

To Garno:

If you are new to belt sanders and are just doing workshop work, I suggest having a pack of 80, 100, and 120 grit belts. If you are working with green oak, building a boat, doing fibreglassing, renovating an old building, or sanding concrete plant pots, then add 40 and 60 grit packs to your collection.

When using it, get good at not leaving edge patterns, by moving the machine constantly but not randomly. Also, get strong, as half an hour with a belt sander can be tough going (wait until you try using it overhead!). And wear ear defenders.
Thanks Mike,
I will take your advice and get the 80, 100, and 120, Doug also mentioned the 120 as the max he tends to go with for most things.
 

Osvaldd

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First time I picked up a belt sander, a year ago, it ripped a chunk of flesh near the thumb. Never again. :D
 

Deadeye

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Garno":io3mzyvo said:
The finish the 80 grit gave really surprised me (smoother than Mrs G's posterior when I first met her).
Well in order to advise if the finish will be better, we'll need to see some pictures...
 

scooby

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I bought a cheap belt sander about 16 years ago and must have used 3 times for actual sanding. After my bench grinder died, the sander has only been used (with a jig) to grind primary bevels.

I made sure to meticulously clean out all the wood dust before hand.
 

Trevanion

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I would say the belt sander is the most used piece of equipment in the workshop, no doubt about it. They flatten off all the doors, windows and frames, remove all the planer marks from timber that's been planed or rebated, and they do all sorts of other very useful jobs. They have a reputation for being a "work destroyer" and a bit unwieldy which in all honesty, they are. Belt sanders will very quickly make a big mess of your work if you don't know how to use one correctly. As MikeG said above, the key is to keep the machine moving not in a random manner as this can also cause problems if the machine tips over if you're being erratic, it should be moved in a controlled and smooth motion never staying too long in one spot. They are a bit heavy and unwieldy when you're using them for the first time and it won't take long before you're aching from resisting the machine pulling you around all the time, but with time you will get stronger and more used to your machine. They're not a machine to underestimate though, they can bite as Osvaldd found out and I couldn't count the amount of times I've accidentally come into contact with the belt and either sanded a little bit off my finger or bumped my finger depending on which way it gets touched, I've also had paper cuts from the overhanging belt which I can tell you, is really not pleasant.

With that said, I've spent many, many, many hours using a belt sander so I've gotten used to the weight and balance of the machine I'm used to (Makita 9404, Bomb-Proof) and its use is all second-nature now, it's almost like an extension of the arm. Wouldn't be without it.

I don't use anything other than an 80 grit belt, anything less in grit is too coarse for my work and anything more in grit will result in spending more time sanding and more clogged papers.
 

Trainee neophyte

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As Travanion says, a belt sander can be a bit angry. Try clamping it to the bench on its side, and moving the workpiece rather than the sander. You can do all those fancy curves and freehand cool stuff you see in YouTube. I put a piece of scrap in front of it to give me a level bed to work from, as the belt doesn't quite reach the edge, (which becomes the bottom, at this point) and holding it in the air, freehand means 90° is just a distant memory, almost instantly.

Oh, and don't let the beast get free while it's running. Or get several and run races down the bench. (I could have been an apprentice).
 

ColeyS1

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Doug71":3uxo0d7b said:
I rarely go above 120 grit with my belt sander.

Didn't realise you could get Abranet belts, bit pricey, are they worth it?
I tried some and didn't find them as good as normal ones. I've tried several different brands (sait and hermes) and always go back to mirka.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

Doug71

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Trainee neophyte":3rtc0rt6 said:
Oh, and don't let the beast get free while it's running.
My fathers old 4" Makita belt sander was covered in paint, this caused the trigger to sometimes stick on. He would often plug it in without checking, it would instantly set off at great speed across his bench flying off the end and continuing across the workshop floor destroying everything in it's path until the electric cable that tethered it was at full stretch!
 

porker

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One thing I don't think has been mentioned is getting one of those rubbery blocks ( they aren't actually rubber) to clean the belt. I didn't even know they existed until a window restorer mate of mine showed me. Unclog the belts quickly and prolongs the use you can get out of them.
 

MikeG.

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porker":20yvrntw said:
One thing I don't think has been mentioned is getting one of those rubbery blocks ( they aren't actually rubber) to clean the belt. I didn't even know they existed until a window restorer mate of mine showed me. Unclog the belts quickly and prolongs the use you can get out of them.
I use a cut-off tube of dried floorboard adhesive. Works beautifully. The other thing you can do is swap your belt over to run it backwards, and clean it that way....before turning it back around to use in the correct orientation.
 

Woody2Shoes

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doctor Bob":11rr199n said:
Garno":11rr199n said:
The finish the 80 grit gave really surprised me (smoother than Mrs G's posterior when I first met her).
Once they been well used they can become a bit rough and hairy .................................. :shock: :shock: :shock:
I find that random orbit mode is preferable.... :oops:
 

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